Once again I am proud to report that my wife, Terry, has several photos that have been selected by the nominating committee of the Equine Ideal: Winter 2012 Photography Contest as finalists in their annual online competition. In the past she has won honors for a head shot of a rescued horse (click HERE) as we, with Habitat for Horses, released him at Willie Nelson’s ranch on his first day of adopted bliss. Last year she won ribbons (click HERE) for a shot of the famed wild horses of the Pryor Mountains and this year she is up for ribbons on two different head shots of our very own Pele who was rescued from a slaughter auction through the efforts of Habitat for Horses. Pele is half quarter horse and from the neck up he is pure wild horse, we can see the beauty that heralds back to his wild roots as he glides across our pastures in play.
I know many of you have already sent in your comments to the BLM regarding the planned permanent removal of 30 young Pryor mustangs, but I’d like you to consider adding a special plea for Echo, Cloud’s little grandson (BLM name is Killian).
In April 2010, Bolder’s black mare, Cascade, gave birth to a pale colt. It was early May before Makendra and I could get up on the Pryors to look for the colt that supposedly looked like Cloud. We spotted Bolder and his family far out on a still snowy, finger-like ridge on Sykes. We could see a little colt lying in the snow under a juniper tree. He looked snow white but, on closer examination, I could see his stockings and the blaze on his face. On the tip of his nose he had a pink snip, just like his great grandpa Raven, his grandpa Cloud, and his father, Bolder.
The BLM Billings Field Office mailed a Scoping Letter to interested parties on July 28th, stating their intent to reach an “Appropriate” Management Level (AML) of 90-120 adult wild horses, one year of age and older in the Pryor Mountains. If they carry out this plan 45 to as many as 75 horses would be removed in 2012. We cannot allow this to happen.
Dollars to doughnuts that besides the idiot stampede of 2009 and all the PZP being used this new attempt at destroying Cloud’s herd is only an excuse to go in and take the last of Cloud’s linage; the Spanish Palominos will be the ones to go as the BLM does not want another new face in the Pryors to go as public as has the story of Cloud.
Two Pryor Mountain wild horses, said to be named Admiral and Kaptain/Climbs High, were killed on U.S. 37 in the Big Horn Canyon National Recreation around 2 am last Sunday. Law enforcement officials took one Adam Finn, 26, of German Town Tennessee into custody when they found him in his disabled vehicle not far from the scene of the accident. Finn was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and also issued citations for driving a vehicle with a breath concentration of .08 percent or greater, unsafe operation-failure to maintain control, destruction of natural resources and for moving a vehicle from an accident scene.
Often times, as we travel through time living out our lives, we happen across someone who ignites a life changing event or an epiphany of sorts that turns our perception of the world upside down and launches us into another direction that was not even on our prior radar screen. I must say that I have been blessed with such an event as I was lucky enough to meet someone who is so special, so rare and so beautiful on so many different levels that it is difficult to put down into simple two dimensional text.
May 29th was a blustery day on the Pryor Mountains as we bounced up Tillett Ridge Road in a gale force wind blowing out of the north. Icy rain fell in intermittent sheets—the polar opposite of the weather on the day of Cloud’s birth.
Sixteen years ago the sun was shining. It was warm. Light clouds floated overhead. I set up my camera and was filming a brash, young stallion who was flirting with his father’s newly acquired filly when I spotted a flash of white moving through the trees and panned the camera. A pale colt tottered out of the forest beside his palomino mother. The rest of his family followed—Smokey and Mahogany, his sisters; Diamond, his yearling brother; and the other mares, Isabella the pale buckskin, and Grumpy Grulla. Pulling up the rear was Cloud’s stunning father, the unforgettable Raven. The foal struggled to keep up with his mother on their trek uphill to snow drifts under the canopy of Douglas firs.
WASHINGTON (May 30, 2011) – Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-AZ, submitted a Resolution in the U. S. House of Representatives recognizing the birthday of the Pryor Mountain wild stallion, Cloud—for his role in enhancing the appreciation of all wild horses and burros in the American West.
On behalf of all self-actualized and compassionate human beings I would like to extend to you a most heartfelt congratulations, this day, on the advent of your sixteenth year of accompanying us on this voyage across time and space upon the spaceship we call Earth.
Sixteen years ago a wonderful cinematographer and her friend witnessed you entering this world. At that time you probably had no idea of the mantle of responsibility and notoriety that you would bear upon your withers and soul. As a young palomino, born wild amongst some of the most wondrous grandeur known on earth, you didn’t have a clue as to your destiny or the part you would play in the trivial game of human ego, greed and cruelty. And if I had my way, you still would not know.
Lauryn Wachs and Catherine Stokes, our Cloud Foundation interns, accompanied me on their second journey to the Pryor Mountains. It’s always an adventure and last week was no exception.